Tuesday, July 20, 2010

How time flies

It's hard to believe how much of my summer has gone by already. It's even harder to write about it, because that kind of reflection only reminds me of all the things I still have to do, and before long I'm pretty much panicked. But I'll try to stay calm enough to give a good update on what's happening with me.
For starters, in the past week or so I've seen the first few conclusions to some of my projects at work. In one of the first cases I worked on at legal aid, the opponents have agreed to a settlement that couldn't be better for our client: she gets an apartment with them, and they revise their policies to be fairer to applicants like her. I got to write the actual settlement agreement they'll sign and submit to the judge, which was satisfying and a much better resolution than we expected back when I was researching contingencies in case they got us thrown out of federal court.

In another case, we seem to have succeeded at helping a tenant pull enough money together to pay all her back rent and convincing her landlord to quit trying to evict her in exchange. This client is very young and formerly homeless, but truly seems to have her life on track now and just had a rough adjustment to a pay cut and new childcare costs for her son, whom she's very cool when talking about. So it will be really gratifying if we're able to save her tenancy.

Meanwhile, at my policy job, we just submitted an enormous research product on health and life insurance law to the international NGO that commissioned it from my boss. She's actually out this week presenting it, but at least it's finally out of our (the interns') hands, to our great relief. I'm also relieved to have finished a more individual project to revise, introduce, and do some ancillary research for a proposal we want to make to the Treasury Department.

So those things are going well, although there are twice as many things just like them still lined up to get done. And predictably, a whole new round of things for Harvard and career planning have presented themselves. We're into the add-drop season for fall classes, which is pretty important since this will be my last year, and so far I have:

10:45-11:45 Administrative Law, Rakoff
1-3 Environmental Law, Freeman
5-7 Political Economy of Modern Capitalism, Desan

10:45-11:45 Administrative Law, Rakoff
1-3 Environmental Law, Freeman

10:45-11:45 Administrative Law, Rakoff

10-12 Taxation, Alstott

10-12 Taxation, Alstott

That Modern Capitalism class is a big dilemma, because it really interests me, and I may need it to keep my fall credit hours from being unimpressively few. But it also extends into the spring, when a lot of other classes interest me even more, and I'm so worried it will crowd one of them out of my schedule when it comes time for spring registration that I'm considering dropping it entirely. Like a lot of Harvard students facing the ridiculous abundance of good classes, I'm not sure which gamble to take: that it will be wonderful and totally worth the sacrifice, or that something even better will come along? I've got time to consult some fellow students, so I'll probably mull it over for a while and be sure to let you know once I decide.

Finally, a whole host of deadlines in the judicial clerkship application process is approaching fast. I just had my resume reviewed by the folks at Career Services, and it looks like a fair amount of changes are needed. Plus, I have to finalize my list of judges to give to my recommenders by next Monday, July 26, then gather everything including their letters to submit for Harvard's centralized mailing by August 9. All this seems absurdly soon, but luckily I seem to have cleared what I once thought of as my biggest hurdle: getting Russell on board with the idea that some of the really excellent clerkships to which I really can't justify not applying are in Houston, so I might need to spend a year there before coming home to Austin.

Speaking of which, it may sound like it's been all work and no play around here lately, but that couldn't be less true. Monday was the last day of a fun, busy, incredible four-ish day visit from Russell that involved at least four margaritas, seven breakfast tacos, two movies, one visit to Toy Joy, and one amazing day at Schlitterbahn. We're both totally exhausted and bummed to be back at work. But we get to look forward to a repeat performance in just under a month, when Russell will come back to attend a friend's wedding and help me move back North.

In entertainment news, seeing Inception at the Alamo Drafthouse was definitely one of the weekend's highlights, and I sincerely recommend it (even if you live in a city without an Alamo Drafthouse.) It's smart, exciting, surprisingly emotional, and creative like nothing I've seen before. Which, come to think of it, is also a decent description of my new pop culture obsession, Buffy the Vampire Slayer!

I know, everyone and their sister has seen this show already, and I'm way behind the times with this. But can I just take a moment to say how great it is? Not just the show, but the experience of discovering it for the first time (which I always knew I'd get around to doing eventually, but had finally put off a bit too long) with the knowledge that there are 7+ whole seasons to go through and enjoy. I'm trying to savor it, but my coworker keeps lending me his DVDs.

Well, I think that last bit kept me from panicking completely as I try to sum up all the activity in my life right now. And I may be able to avoid complete nervous collapse if I make good use of this coming weekend. Wish me luck, and in the meantime, go see Inception!


idwsj said...

Buffy is AWESOME. There's an episode somewhere around Season 5 that is mostly silent and it made me tear up so much!

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